Top 5 Troubleshooting Tips for iPad Repair
Here at eTech Parts we’re always looking for more ways to educate and inform our Repair Community. We get tons of requests for repair guides and videos, and lots of calls about troubleshooting repairs. Parts that don’t initially work as intended are often deemed “defective” right away, when in reality some simple troubleshooting often solves the issue. Taking the time to run some simple troubleshooting during a repair can save you time, money and the hassle of returning a working part back to your supplier. If you’re having issues during an iPad repair, such as a discolored iPad LCD, and you can’t figure out what’s going on, take a look below. You might find the answers you need!
We were lucky enough to team up with Josh Muccio, owner of iPadScreenRepair.com and a master of iPad repair, to come up with the top five troubleshooting tips for iPad repair. Josh’s iPad repair guides are the best ones we’ve seen and definitely worth bookmarking. If you have yet to embark on repairing an iPad, iPad Screen Repair is a great place to start! Be sure to bookmark this page for the next time you need a reminder of some troubleshooting tips for the iPad 2/3/4.
Troubleshooting Tip #1: Replacement iPad Digitizer not Working Properly
If the iPad digitizer is not working properly you may have a defective part, but further troubleshooting is needed to confirm.
Known iPad Digitizer Issues:
- Dead spots on the touchscreen - A good way to test the touchscreen is to download a drawing app and draw on every inch of the touchscreen to ensure that there aren't any dead spots.
- The phantom touch syndrome · a ghost in the iPad - This is just as common as dead spots on the touchscreen, but is harder to spot in testing. The best way to test is to turn off the auto screen lock feature in settings and let the iPad stay on the home screen. Watch the iPad for 2-3 minutes or let it sit off to the side for 15-20 minutes while starting another repair. You'll know if the iPad has "phantom touch syndrome", it will magically open apps on its own. Or the iPad will mysteriously swipe to another page on the home screen. Yeah, it's freaky!
If the iPad you are troubleshooting shows any or both of the issues listed above, follow these steps:
- Do a hard reset - Hold down the power button & the home button for 15 seconds until you see the Apple logo. This is rarely the solution for a digitizer problem, but it is always a good first step in troubleshooting the iPad.
- Re-seat the digitizer cable - First check to make sure the digitizer ribbon cable is fully inserted & that no dust particles are in the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) connector. Use a can of compressed air to remove dust particles, and then reinsert the ribbon cable into the connector. Make sure the cable is inserted all the way. The white line on the ribbon cable should line up with the edge of the logic board connector. Then you can lock the small black tabs in the down position. Re-assemble the iPad & test again.
- Test with a new iPad digitizer - If steps 1 & 2 have not fixed the issue you may have a defective part. Disassemble the iPad and replace the iPad digitizer with a new part. Then test again. If you have the same problems with the replacement digitizer, then you may have a damaged connector on the logic board.
Troubleshooting Tip #2: LCD on iPad is Very Dark
If after the repair the iPad screen is dim then you will want to follow these steps to reset the LCD backlight.
- Make sure the iPad has a charge - First you will need to make sure the iPad has a charge. Connect the iPad to a computer to see the charge level in iTunes. Once you have confirmed that the iPad is powered on you can proceed to the next step.
- Do a hard reset - Hold down the power button & the home button for 15 seconds until you see the Apple logo. This is a simple step, but one that many overlook. This can solve many software and hardware issues and should be the first step in troubleshooting the iPad.
- Re-seat the LCD cable - If step 2 does not solve the iPad backlight issue, you will need to first power down the iPad. Then disassemble the iPad and reinsert the LCD ribbon cable into the logic board connector. Repeat steps 1 & 2.
- Replace iPad LCD - After completing the previous steps and confirming that the iPad does show up in iTunes when plugged in, then you should troubleshoot by replacing the iPad LCD. If a new LCD does not fix the issue, you most likely have a damaged iPad logic board.
Troubleshooting Tip #3: Discoloration of iPad LCD
If the iPad LCD exhibits strange colors, vertical/horizontal streaks, or other abnormal display issues, follow the steps below to troubleshoot the iPad.
- Do a hard reset - Hold down the power button & the home button for 15 seconds until you see the Apple logo. Again, this may not fix the issue, but it is always a good first step in troubleshooting the iPad. If problem persists, move on to step 2.
- Re-seat the LCD cable - First, disassemble the iPad and then re-seat the LCD ribbon cable into the logic board connector. This will often fix the issue if the LCD cable was jolted loose from a sudden jolt to the iPad.
- Replace the LCD cable - Replacing the entire LCD panel on an iPad is a costly repair so make sure that the LCD cable is not the problem. Note: This step only applies to the iPad 2.
- Replace the LCD panel - If the previous steps do not solve the issue, you will need to test with a working iPad LCD. This step should fix most all LCD discoloration issues. A discolored iPad LCD is rarely associated with a damaged logic board.
Troubleshooting Tip #4: Power, Mute, or Volume Button Issues
Issues with these buttons not functioning as expected can often be solved via settings. When these buttons are completely unresponsive when pressed or if a button is jammed, then you have a hardware problem. We are going to address just the hardware issues.
Jammed Button from iPad Frame Damage
This problem is most commonly associated with the volume switch. A small dent in this area of the iPad frame can jam the switch with the up or down volume button pressed down.
- Re-shape the iPad frame - You will need to remove the iPad digitizer to get the needed leverage to reshape the frame. We recommend you use the iPad metal opening tool & gently tap on the handle to fix the dent in the frame. Once the frame is back to its original shape, test the button before re-assembling the iPad. If the problem persists, go to step 1 below.
Power, Mute, or Volume Button is Unresponsive
This issue may have resulted from damage to the power button and volume ribbon cable on the iPad or one of the buttons has worn out over time. Either way, the troubleshooting steps are the same.
- Replace the PMV ribbon cable - This repair can vary in difficulty depending on the iPad model, but replacing the cable is usually the only solution. You may be able to spot the damage to the existing cable, but replacing the ribbon cable assembly is usually the best fix.
- Check for logic board damage - This is extremely rare, but if step 1 does not fix the issue, make sure the replacement part is not defective. Then check for damage to the logic board where the PMV ribbon cable connects.
Troubleshooting Tip #5: Decreased WIFI or 3G/4G Signal Strength
If you notice a loss in signal strength for WIFI or cellular data, you may have a damaged antenna. Damage to the iPad WIFI antenna – which is just to the right of the home button – is more common than cellular antenna damage. Look for signs of damage on each antenna, even the slightest rip or tear can reduce signal strength. To test signal strength, compare the signal levels of the iPad you are troubleshooting to a known working iPad. If signal loss is confirmed, complete the step below.
- Replace damaged WIFI or cellular antenna - If an antenna is damaged you will want to replace it. There are ways of fixing a rip or tear in the antenna, but usually the best option is to just replace the antenna and start fresh.
This is great information to share with the technicians in your shop and bookmark for future reference. Thanks again to Josh Muccio of iPadScreenRepair.com for his wealth of knowledge and these top 5 iPad troubleshooting tips! Stay tuned as we share more great information from knowledgeable technicians in the electronic repair industry.